Posts tagged gary neville
Posts tagged gary neville
Among anguished, and most likely Red Devil written, comments in reply to a wholly antagonistic article, was an intriguing point: “[Ferguson] can be extremely benign, accommodating and tolerant of players who regularly call round to drive Cathy [Lady Ferguson] to Tescos, and then help her carry her bags to the car and back into the house: plus doing the gardening during the close season of course. Volunteering to do the windows can put five years on your career: O’Shea, Brown, Gibson and Fletcher spring to mind.” Clearly the comment was just as jocular as Pearson’s; however, behind the whimsical flippancy and facetious mockery was a point worth considering.
As we’ve been reminded by those who strike a profile of pseudo-knowledge, those that predict 10 future talents and become Arsene Wenger when one makes a sub appearance in the second round of the Carling Cup – take a bow Luke Freeman, I hear you secured your dream move to Stevenage – Manchester United have been rebuilt “time and time again under Ferguson and are undergoing another rebuilding process. I accept that they are, but hearing it from the same pundit that informed me that, at 3-0, Manchester United will, “go on to really hurt [City] they’ve been the best at it over the past 10-15 years,” just for City to all but stage a season-ending comeback, was rather patronising. For a second I felt like I had been completely let down, like realising Father Christmas wasn’t real after all, but then I remembered the same pundit said Vincent Kompany’s challenge wasn’t a red card and any perceived expertise he may have held in my view had evaporated quicker than Rooney could wave two fingers in front of Chris Hoy.
In Manchester United’s current first team, there are 9 players that have been there for five or more years and they started the season with just eight of those ever-presents. At the beginning of the season, in his interview with Gordon Burns, Ferguson stressed the importance of, “building a team to last five or six years,” further emphasizing that, “they have a better understanding and become friends together,” by doing so. However, a portion of these 9 players, notably part of a transition, have missed varying sized segments of the season through injury and the players coming through, who will form, what Ferguson calls, “the nucleus of the modern Manchester United,” have equally been hindered with injury. “We knew Welbeck and Tom Cleverley were going to be fantastic players,” Said Ferguson, unaware that one would suffer from a length injury that he is yet to return from, “Chris Smalling and Phil Jones were in the Under-21s together. They have learned together and that has been a really big part of the modern Manchester United.” Yet the modern Manchester United find themselves up against a challenge that the Old United didn’t: Manchester City.
With the modern Manchester United struggling, but don’t suggest they are to a Devil, Paul Scholes was finally bullied back into playing again by Fergie and most likely Ravel Morrison, who last year pleaded guilty to two charges of witness intimidation. Suddenly, the “Giggs-Scholes-Beckham era” became the present; an anchor was chucked before oncoming waves, such as the triple header of an in-form Arsenal, a determined Chelsea and a galvanised Liverpool, which makes up 3 of their next 5 fixtures, crashed into the fast porous ship. For once, those “volunteers” may well have been the exact remedy Sir Alex Ferguson needed for Manchester’s winter blues.
Irrespective of Manchester United’s form – at the time of writing – which averages out as 2.25 points per game, enough to win 8 of the last 10 Premier League titles, they are facing a challenge previously never on offer, in the form of Manchester City and a new presence of Tottenham, which threatens to red-face Ferguson more than he already is naturally. In previous struggles for the Premier League title with Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, Fergie has had a reliable contingent to depend on when faced with adversity; players such as: Darren Fletcher, John O’Shea, Wes Brown, Gary Neville and Mikael Silvestre. These are the players that when Manchester United have had to dig deep, Sir Alex Ferguson can rely on, be it: John O’Shea easing the pressure on other players slotting in across the defence and midfield or captaining the F.A Cup side, or Darren Fletcher going from a bit part player to one sorely missed now he is indefinitely unavailable. However, over the past 4 years all of the above have either left, retired or out until further notice. Players that were as capable as playing as they were providing a physical embodiment of Ferguson on the pitch, creating a resounding presence and link between manager and squad are gone. With Vidic out for the rest of the season, along with Fletcher, and Ferdinand, by Ferguson’s own admission, not up to standards this season, it is a presence sorely missed.
John O’Shea, Wes Brown and the like, may not have been the best performers ever to grace Old Trafford, but their service was invaluable and, in unpredicted hardship for Manchester United in the shape of injuries and misfortune, players of their ilk are needed more than ever. The sentiment expressed by the poster on the original article of Pearson’s may have excessively assessed and depicted the scenarios of the said players’ careers; however, right now Sir Alex Ferguson could do with some “volunteers.”
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